Bhavnagar is located in the southeastern region of Kathiawad in Gujarat. It is known as the land of lakes and temples. Bhavnagar is also an important commercial centre of Gujarat. Alang, situated on the Gujarat coastline (in the midst of Bhavnagar and Talaja) is one of the major tourist spots that surround Bhavnagar.
Alang, which contains the largest ship-breaking yard in India, offers a spectacular sight to the tourists. The ship-breaking yards are positioned on the Gulf of Khambat, in the south-eastern corner of Bhavnagar district. The beach line of Alang is dotted with supertankers, large warships, container vessels, car ferries etc. that are broken down to the tiniest bit of scrap by over 20,000 laborers, who work day and night. The best time to visit Alang is between October and March.
How to reach Alang?
Alang is situated on the south-eastern corner of Bhavnagar. A host of domestic airlines offer flights to Bhavnagar from Mumbai (an international airport of India) and Surat. Bhavnagar is also-well connected by the railway network. It can be reached by the Western Railway Line. The distance from Mumbai via Ahmedabad is 761 km and it is 788 km if approached via Viramgam. A lot of state transport buses and luxury coaches are available which connect the various provinces and towns of Gujarat to Alang. The distance of Bhavnagar from Mumbai via Ahmedabad, when approached by the land route, is 791 km and is 200 km when approached from Ahmedabad via. Sihor. Alang is easily accessible from Bhavnagar, either by train, bus, auto or any other means of land transport.
Where to stay?
It would be advisable to conduct a tour to Alang in the morning and stay overnight at hotels in Bhavnagar, that range from five star accommodations to budget hotels. There are a host of travel agencies like Tourism of India.com that book reservations in various hotels according to the travel itinerary of tourists. There are heritage hotels in Bhavnagar like the Hotel Nilambagh, which is an old palace that has been converted into a hotel with five-star accommodations. There are also two star and three star hotels like the Blue Hill Hotel and Hotel White Rose. There are also lots of government approved accommodations in Bhavnagar, which are comparatively low on the budget.
The city of Bhavnagar, founded by Bhavsinhji Gohil, was once renowned to be a prosperous and thriving port. However, all such activities had declined over the decades. Today, the maritime activities of Bhavnagar are centered at the ports of Ghoga and Alang. Alang used to boast of a spotless and immaculate beach line before it was converted into a ship-breaking yard in June 1983. However, this scrap yard provides a steady source of income for local inhabitants.
The Great Scrap Yard
Alang was chosen for a ship-breaking site, because of its nearness to industrial estates that could make use of the scrap material. Also the timings of the tide were beneficial for building up of a ship-breaking yard on the coast of Alang. Thousands of cargo ships, warships, large vessels and supertankers are dismantled every year on the coast of Alang. This ship-scraping yard produces over millions of tones of steel every year. Alang is therefore an important source of raw material. Because of its peculiar tidal conditions Alang has emerged as the premier ship-scrapping destination of the world.
Renowned to be the biggest ship-scrapping site in the world, Alang provides an interesting antidote to the city of lakes and temples. It also serves as a marvelous picnic spot for the tourists.
Last Updated on 23 July 2012